The Rückenfigur

This afternoon, whilst browsing the shelves of a rare books shop, I found a Caspar David Friedrich book. Though, unfortunately, the text is German, the photographs of Friedrich’s paintings are stunning.

Friedrich is a new, thrilling discovery. Jospovici’s latest book includes an outstanding chapter that juxtaposes Friedrich’s painting with Wordsworth’s poetry.

. . . Joseph Koerner has some remarkable pages, in his book on Friedrich, about the painter’s fondness for what he calls the Rückenfigur, the figure who is and is not the painter, who is and is not the viewer, who stands at the limit of the picture, with his back to us, so that what we see is not what he sees, but him seeing.

It is a good week for Josipovici books. In Charing Cross Road I found Josipovici’s first novel The Inventory and, to my great satisfaction, The Lessons of Modernism.

6 thoughts on “The Rückenfigur

  1. >From Josipovici have you discovered Robert Pinget —all of whose novels have been translated… In TLS at Christmas he always, it seemed mention Pinget… I have liked in particular The Apocrypha and Monsieur Songe… The very early books are a working up to finding his voices… Josipovici is in a valiant struggle in his own work to find the source of whatever it is that allowed to produce his later books…

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